Recently we went to a ska gig in New Cross, where we discovered the fun nine-piece ska-outfit that is Just Say Nay, from Kent. Our own comments from their performance is as follows, or you can read the full review here.
“The Kent-based eighteen legged monster that is Just Say Nay followed up with something that packed a lot more punch. They delivered a sound that was closer to skacore, or at least a grittier edged form of ska-punk. A song such as ‘Bouncer’ provided us withsome heavy, distorted hooks, crust-punk style vocals that reminded me of early Morning Glory and dominating brass melodies. ‘Low Blow’ on the other hand was a lot happier, with third wave ska tones and joyous “Lala Dadada” chants in the chorus, it was far more up beat.
The highlight came from a Muppets Treasure Island cover of ‘Cabin Fever’ as the brass section of Lead Shot Hazard joined the nine people already on stage, leading the track to be performed by thirteen people. Waves of “I’ve got cabin fever” and “I’ve got it too” flowed through the song as the odd crow member had the opportunity to sing into the mic. There was a lot of energy on stage, though that sadly wasn’t mimicked as much in the crowd as it could have. (7.5)”
Just Say Nay started bubbling away in late 2015, with Dave Lewis on guitar, Rob Gilbertson on drums and Valerio Kim on trombone. Things started to get interesting as Leo Harvey was drafted in to fulfill bass duties for a few dates of a tour with Triple Sundae’s, interestingly enough who Dave also played trombone for.
Leo Harvey was then recruited into the Just Say Nay ranks permanently and ever since then the band has been gradually evolving. First with Jack Thornton as another guitarist, and then Katy Olly on trumpet. Valerio Kim left the band to go to uni although he’s still considered an honoury member and plays violin for Just Say Nay when he’s around. Mikey T and Jack Stevens then picked up trombone and saxophone and learned on the job incredibly fast. Finally, in early 2017, Jak Coleman came on board to take on lead vocals.
Talking about the relationship the band has, Leo Harvey says “There’s a lot of us, we’re all exceptionally good friends and some of us have known eachother since primary school.”
While they perform for Just Say Nay, several members play for other bands too, Katy Olly performs in folk ska band Steamchicken, Dave Lewis performs trombone in King Punch, Jak Coleman is also in Kent trio, Tailblock and Leo Harvey also performs bass in Monkish.
Given how many members there are in the band, there’s a whole lot of influences kicking about. They all love ska punk, especially bands like Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish, but each member brings something unique to the mix, whether it’s hip hop, grime, folk, metal, folk-metal, crack rock steady or dub.
In February 2017, Just Say Nay released their four track EP, ‘Shit Out Of Luck’, Leo goes on to explain the process of the release
“The EP was hard work, and I think we’re all proud of it, even though it’s a little out of date now. We recorded in Deptford Music Complex with Chris in late 2016 and released it early 2017. It was really important at the time to get a recording together when we did. Even if only to prove we were a real band, so that promoters weren’t taking a complete leap into the dark booking us, despite knowing we weren’t 100% fully formed yet (Jak and Jack on Sax weren’t in the band at that time).”
Just Say Nay plan to record the next EP in July with hopes to release it ahead of their appearance at Boomtown Festival in August. Other plans in the pipeline include Level Up Festival, along with playing gigs with Chris Murray in New Cross and China Shop Bull in King’s Lynn.
Highlights for Just Say Nay include each member having had the chance to play with some of their favourite bands, such as Chewing on Tinfoil and The Toasters and are indebted to Be Sharp Promotions who have included them on some incredible lineups down at the New Cross Inn. Other notable bands they have played with include, The Pisdicables, Call Me Malcolm, Faintest Idea, Popes of Chilitown and Captain Accident and the Disasters.
As far as current goals, Just Say Nay would love to hit the road and play outside of London a bit more, maybe get over to Europe and play some cool festivals. Though, ultimately, they want to keep doing what they’re already doing, writing more exciting music, getting tighter and playing with more awesome bands.
You can check out ‘Shit Out Of Luck’ here
You can download it here – https://justsaynay.bandcamp.com/
For more Just Say Nay